Osteopathy was developed on the principal that the body has an innate capacity to repair itself under the correct conditions. It is a type of ‘hands-on’ or manual medicine that seeks to restore the body to a state where this healing mechanism can be allowed to work. This is achieved by removing restrictions to movement, improving circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid and by addressing any lifestyle factors that may be preventing recovery.
Many different techniques are used to achieve this including massage, stretching, gentle joint movement and also short fast joint movement that often results in a ‘popping’ sound as the joint releases.
An Osteopath looks at the whole body, not just the injured area, as well as the patient’s lifestyle and past history. They seek to understand all of the various factors that have caused the area be vulnerable to injury.
In doing so, not only is the injury treated but also the underlying cause is addressed and the patient can be empowered to prevent the injury from re-occurring with exercises and advice and where necessary, lifestyle adjustments.
Osteopathy is the recommended form of treatment for low back pain by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).